Maricar Reyes turns to friend from med school for anti-aging care

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Maricar Reyes turns to friend from med school for anti-aging care
Maricar Reyes-Poon shares lessons about embracing oneself, warts and all. The actress and businesswoman is among the celebrity ambassadors of Velasco Medical Aesthetics. She and Dr. Erika Velasco, VMA owner, were schoolmates at the University of Sto. Tomas - Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.
Photo from Maricar Reyes official Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Maricar Reyes-Poon can stake a claim to having one of the most beautiful faces in the showbiz industry. But interestingly, the licensed medical doctor-turned-actress and businesswoman has said that she learned how to fully come to terms with the way she looks just recently.

“You know what’s funny, recently lang ako parang yung talagang natanggap. This has been a crazy year na parang you really become comfortable in your positives and negatives. Kasi ‘di ba tayo mga Pinoy ‘pag sinasabihan ka ng compliment, you shut it down. ‘Uy, ang ganda mo!’ ‘Di naman.”

“Ngayon ko lang talaga na fully learn — yes, in my 40s — that it’s okay to say thank you for the positives and that at the same time, when somebody tells you something negative, ‘Ah okay, ganun pala, mahina pala ako sa Math, ‘di pala ako ganito, I’m immature pala in this area,’ it's okay. So, ngayon ko lang parang natutunan yung balance,” the 42-year-old told The STAR in an exclusive chat.

“Growing up, my mom was like that. Every time somebody says to my mom na uy maganda ka, ganyan, like tinuturuan siya ng lola ko na i-shut down mo yan, say no because either you'll just be judged on your looks or baka yumabang ka, may ganun, which is also valid. But yun lang, as a young woman, if you imbibe that too much, parang dina-downplay mo din naman yung binigay sayo na regalo ng Panginoon. Alam mo yung ganun? It’s also gift.”

Maricar particularly developed this mindset around the time she released her eponymous autobiographical book, which is about her journey to healing, in late 2022.

“It was a book about something very negative and how I came into terms with it. Pero nung nilabas ko siya parang, okay, there are other things that happened behind the scenes that it’s okay din pala to not be okay,” Maricar reflected.

From left: Maricar, Dr. Reg Llorin, Dr. Erika Velasco, and celebrity chef Vallerie Archer of Philippine Airlines AVP catering.

“And to also accept the positive. So equal lang sila. Just because there’s something negative about you doesn't mean that negative ka na buong buo. And just because there's something positive about you, huwag mo din namang ikakayabang yung ganun,” she added.

The STAR was able to interview Maricar at the recent first anniversary event of her skin clinic of choice, the Velasco Medical Aesthetics (VMA), at the Inoza Tower in Bonifacio Global City.

Maricar was a special guest, along with other celebrities and influencers, at the celebration. But she also has a special connection to the owner of VMA, Dr. Erika Velasco. The latter revealed that they were schoolmates at the University of Sto. Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

“The reason why I wanted her (as endorser) is because… she’s a doctor also. Gandang-ganda kami sa kanya (even in college). So when I requested for someone who can like represent our clinic, she was No. 1 on the list. Apart from being a doctor, I like kasi yung mga women who have substance and marami siyang nai-inspire. We want someone, who represents us, can inspire a lot of women,” Dr. Erika said.

Getting reconnected and working with her schoolmates, isn’t Maricar inspired or open to practice medicine again?

“Pwede,” she mused. “Actually, even though na nag-showbiz ako, I was practicing behind the scenes lang but as family and friends (doctor), ganun… We’ll see.”

For now, she’s entrusting her beauty, skincare and anti-aging concerns to VMA. “I regularly come here starting in February. What I liked about this place is it’s very straight to the point, they give you what you need. I mean I've been with other clinics before and they're good naman but what I like about dito sa VMA, it’s very realistic in educating you kung ano yung expectations dapat for your skin so it builds trust. And the culture here is low-key, simple,” Maricar said.

“Even if you were born with certain characteristics, you still have to maintain them. If you don’t take care of it, babagsak din ‘yan overtime. Hindi rin naman tayo bagets, right? Kaya ang maganda rin dito that they focus on anti-aging, yun yung specialization,” the actress added.

Dr. Erika is particularly proud of VMA’s facials, which are intentionally “more relaxing and elaborate.” One of Maricar’s favorite facials is the Lutronic Hollywood Spectra, a non-invasive skin rejuvenation treatment with minimal downtime. Another popular facial is Instaglow, which takes an hour and costs P2,000. They also have this 14-step Prime Facial, which lasts two hours, and is priced at P3,500.

“We have facials, we have the anti-aging machines that are gonna help your skin (become) firm and tight. Like sinasabi ni Doc Maricar, habang you age may babagsak d’yan. So we want to continuously tighten and firm your skin habang bata ka pa. We also do injectables.”

Meanwhile, this paper asked Maricar about her opinion on invasive or surgical enhancements. “I used to not believe in it, na parang the industry is like peperahan ka, there are machines that don’t work, I have seen machines that don’t work. And then there are of course, machines that are (working),” she said, also stressing, “So kailangan talaga is the doctor na kausap mo, trust mo ba? Then ‘pag nag pa-treat ka, tignan mo may nangyayari ba sa piso mo?”

As for her thoughts on aging, Maricar believes that “it depends on the mindset on the person siguro lalo na ngayon syempre sa culture natin, we value young. Pero wala, it’s inevitable. I also don’t want to go back… Iniisip ko yung problema ko nung 20s, ayoko na din bumalik dun. Okay na ako.”

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